4 Beauty Ingredients To Avoid

Do you know what’s in that tub of cream you rub into your face every day?

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If you haven’t already gone natural it might be time to consider making the switch, as there are a lot of nasty chemicals in your beauty bag that could be doing your body real harm.

INGREDIENT: PARABENS (BUTYL-, ETHYL- OR METHYLPARABEN)

Harm: Parabens possess estrogen-mimicking properties that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors.

Found in: makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos and facial cleansers.

INGREDIENT: PROPYLENE GYCOL

Harm: Polyethylene when it is not combined with glycol, is the most common form of plastic used in the world. Moreover, according to a report in the International Journal of Toxicology by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, it often includes ethylene oxide (which The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies as group 1, meaning it is a proven carcinogen) as well as heavy metals (lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium and arsenic).

Found in: shampoo, soap and shower gel.

INGREDIENT: PETROLATUM

Harm: Petrolatum comes from crude oil and while it is classed as non-toxic, there is a risk of contamination from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), cancer-causing chemicals found in crude oil and its by-products.

Found in: most commonly, Vaseline, but also skincare and eczema products.

INGREDIENT: SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE OR SODIUM LAURETH

Harm: A former industrial degreaser now used to make soap foamy, large quantities of it could be absorbed into the body and irritate skin, causing inflammation. It seems to be quite low risk but this increases the longer it’s left on the skin, the more concentrated it is and the more often it’s used.

Found in: shower gel, shampoo and lathering, cleansing products.

And the ones that sound bad, but aren’t:

• MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a special biological sulfur found in plants, soils, fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs, meats, and milk and could help joint pain and clear your skin.

• Hyaluronic acid is a type of carbohydrate (made up of simple sugars), that occurs naturally in our bodies and binds to water, helping to lubricate eyes, muscles, and our skin.

• P-Anisic acid (also known as draconic acid) is derived from anise, a flowering plant native to the eastern Mediterranean region and southwestern Asia and has antiseptic properties.

Rachel x 

Weleda Skin Food

Weleda Skin Food is the perfect all-natural multi-tasker to pack for your beach holiday, camping trip or festival. Replenish dry skin after swimming, smooth rough patches on feet, soothe shoulders glowing after a little too much sunshine, or protect lips from drying air-con on the plane. It’s your summertime saviour.

Skin Food the 100% certified natural all-rounder skin food

If there’s just one thing you need to take with you to a desert island, it’s this little green magic tube. Skin Food is a universal saviour of dry, rough skin on faces, elbows, hands and feet – wherever you take a lot out of your skin, let Skin Food put it back in. With extracts of gentle viola tricolor, calendula and chamomile, in a rich, thick base of oils and beeswax, Skin Food loves your skin back to its best.

One Cream, Eight Solutions

  • Replenishing cream for hands, elbows, knees and heels
  • Face mask
  • Nourishes chapped lips
  • Easy cuticle care
  • Makeup primer
  • Revitalises tired skin
  • Highlight cheekbones
  • Treat split ends

What’s inside?

Organic Rosemary Leaf Extract:

used in many Weleda products. Known for its revitalising, stimulating and warming action, improving circulation.

Organic Pansy Extract:

known for its soothing and healing properties and has a long traditional use for rough, cracked skin.

Organic Calendula:

has a long list of traditional medicinal uses and this outstanding strength is contradictory to a Calendula plant’s own vulnerability to water imbalance.

Organic Chamomile Extract:

are gentle and soothing and are ideal for delicate or sensitive skin. It is often in combination with calendula for gentle skin care.  

Rachel x

 

Please note I was not paid to endorse this product and all information taken from Weleda, no copyright infringement intended. 

 

Jennifer Young: Beauty Despite Cancer

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I recently had product training with Jennifer Young Skincare and wanted to share with you all about the products and the brand.

Before the training I had never heard of Jennifer Young Skincare but was blown away by their products, treatments and empathy. All their products are made using organic and natural ingredients which have been carefully selected and formulated for women being treated for cancer or who have recently gone through treatment.

I choose to share with you about these products and treatments as it is a subject that hits close to home.

As some of you may be aware I have multiple Autoimmune conditions, including Psoriatic Arthritis. The treatment of which is similar in it’s affects as chemotherapy, in fact one drug I have previously been on is Methotrexate which is a chemotherapy agent and immune system suppressant. At high doses Methotrexate is used to treat cancers that include Breast Cancer, Leukaemia and Lung Cancer. At lower doses it is used for medical abortions and to treat types of autoimmune diseases such as Arthritis. Other drugs used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as steroids and anti TNF biological therapies, all have the same affect to hair, skin and nails as chemotherapy. Being a woman and having to deal with changes caused by medication you can see why it hit close to home and why I wanted to share about these products!

One of the things I have found is that at a time when you become even more concerned with your appearance and want help managing changes you are often denied beauty or spa treatments. I have even had to sign a waiver at a spa once just to be able to use the facilities! Rest assured the treatments and products that I am sharing about are specifically targeted at anyone with cancer or like myself living with a chronic condition and are now available at Uniquely Organic EcoSpa.

There will be five treatments available:

  • Glowing Facial
  • Indulgent Massage
  • Top to Toe
  • Specialist Manicure
  • Specialist Pedicure

The subtle but key differences with the Jennifer Young treatments are that the therapists touch is lighter, there is an increased standard of hygiene with immunosuppressed clients in mind, suitable for those diagnosed with cancer and in active treatment, fuller consultations to better understand any adaptations needed for client comfort, deeply relaxing and using specially formulated products to target specific skin needs such as dryness or itching.

The products used are suitable for men and women and there are two ranges, Defiant Beauty for use during cancer treatment and Beyond Beauty for use after medical treatment has finished. Both ranges use naturally nourishing ingredients such as shea butter, mango butter, coconut oil, calendula oil, vitamin e and apricot kernel oil.

All products used during treatment will be available to buy and use at home, they are fairly priced and a little goes a long way so the products last – I can’t wait to experiment and try out even more of the products!

Rachel X

 

 

Sukin Body Contouring Creme

Sukin Body Contouring Creme is one of my must have products!

It has a blend of Stevia and Mate leaves to help reduce the appearance of cellulite and keep skin looking smooth and toned. Infused with a combination of detoxifying Kale, Spirulina, Chlorella and Parsley, their contouring crème is antioxidant and vitamin rich with Moringa Oil and Black Seed extract to help nourish the skin. Coenzyme Q10, Coconut Oil, Macademia and Shea Buttet replenishes the moisture barrier and skin is left looking radiant.

Rachel x

 

Please note I was not paid to endorse this product.

 

My Top 5 Natural & Organic Shampoos

While we often worry about what goes in our cosmetics and skincare, we neglect to check the ingredients of a product we all use every day: shampoo. And unfortunately, almost all commercial shampoos contain ingredients that can harm your health.

The main such ingredient is sodium laurel sulphate (SLS).

With sodium laurel sulphate, dioxins are created – and they are some of the most potentially dangerous carcinogens in the world.

SLS is commonly used,  because it’s cheap and has the ability to foam up when mixed with a bit of salt. Unfortunately, many consumers have the perception that lots of foam=cleaner hair, but this is not the case: the foam itself doesn’t help clean your hair much. But SLS does get rid of grease, which is why it is used for cleaning engines and in kitchen floor cleaning products.

If you’ve ever wondered why shampoo labels always warn against getting the product in your eyes, it’s not because it stings–we all know that–it’s because SLS is highly irritating.

It’s also damaging to hair follicles, corroding the follicles and impairs their ability to grow hair. One study showed that if you use pure SLS on your scalp it will cause hair to fall out! Some Trichologist’s (hair specialists) believe that increasing use of SLS and the salt that is added to it to make it foam is leading more women to lose their hair (or to have it thin out) than ever before.

There are however other more profound health hazards associated with SLS. Scientists have studied the effects of SLS extensively, and their studies reveal compelling and alarming evidence indicating that it should be avoided. Among the findings is that SLS is rapidly taken up by eye tissue and retained; this is even more so for children. SLS is absorbed through skin contact, not just through the eyes, and has been documented to enter and maintain residual levels in the brain, liver, heart, and lungs. It can damage the immune system and cause severe inflammation of the skin, but scariest of all, the damage is accumulative, and once your immune system is damaged, it takes a long time for it to recover. This can lead to a form of suppression of your body that allows you to become more vulnerable to viruses or bacteria.

Unfortunately, it’s not only shampoos we have to watch out for. SLS is in a lot of other personal care products as well, including toothpaste, hand and body soaps, bubble baths, facial cleansers, shaving gel. But don’t worry – I will be posting healthier product alternatives for you all over the coming weeks. In the meantime, bin the SLS-laden shampoos in your bathroom and replace them with one of the fantastic SLS-free shampoos, all of which contain at least some organic ingredients, and which I have tried and tested myself, below.

Please note: I was not paid for any of these endorsements. 

Faith In Nature

Faith In Nature has an award winning natural shampoo range. Their shampoos contain herbal extracts and essential and organic oils to leave your hair feeling both smooth and glossy.

Their natural vegan shampoos are cruelty free, SLS and paraben free and are vegetarian. They use no synthetic colouring, fragrances or artificial preservatives in their shampoos to ensure that they are as natural as possible.

Price: Around £5.50

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Dr Organic Shampoos

Dr Organics uses a combination of bioactive, organic and natural ingredients, such as argan oil, Manuka honey and aloe vera to get your hair clean and soft, but be warned: it also contains some synthetic surfactants like cocamidopropyl betaine, which some may find irritating but which has been given a low hazard rating (4) by the Environmental Working Group. Still, Dr Organic shampoo cleanses and foams up well, and the presence of humectants like Argan oil leave hair soft and tangle free. The shampoos also have a  lovely scent based on different natural ingredients such as mandarin peel oil, geranium oil, patchouli and cinnamon. My favourite is the Manuka Honey, which really does smell like you just fell into a honey pot!

Price: Around £6.29

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Green People Daily Aloe Shampoo

Apparently a fave of Kate Moss’s, this is a soothing natural shampoo for all hair types, but especially for those with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Green People make a range of shampoos with various ingredients, and their products have no SLS or no foaming agents at all, and are also free of drying salt. I found a little of this lavender scented product went a long way.

Price: Around £12.50

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John Masters

John Masters really is the ‘Master’ of natural hair care. His wide range of shampoos, conditioners, hair masks and styling products are fully based on natural ingredients, with many of these being from organic sources. I’ve tried and tested a good many of these, and have several favourites, including this Honey and Hibiscus Shampoo, which can be used every day. Fortified with soy, rice & oat proteins to renew and reconstruct damaged hair, this SLS-free shampoo permeates the hair shaft with nutrients and of course, the added organic honey and hibiscus make your hair smell wonderful!

Price: Around £20.00

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Weleda Baby Shampoo & Body Wash

Looking for a shampoo for the baby? Or just have fine hair? Or maybe you want an all natural shampoo that won’t break the budget, and can also double up as a body wash? This shampoo really does tick a lot of boxes, which is why it’s been a European top seller for almost a century (that’s right – it’s been around for nearly 100 years!).This is a gentle, tear-free formula with anti-inflammatory calendula, and moisturising almond oil. It offers a highly gentle cleanse that will never strip your hair, and is kind to even the most sensitive skins. It leaves your hair with a slightly sweet, chamomile like scent.

Price: Around £7.50

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Rachel X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holistic Haven at Uniquely Organic EcoSpa

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As some of you know last summer I joined the team at Uniquely Organic EcoSpa, I had previously visited the spa on a number of occasions as a client and had chosen the spa based on its principles and great online reviews.

I very much enjoyed visiting the spa for treatments and since joining the team have had the privilege of working alongside some truly outstanding therapists and decided to share with you all a bit about the spa and what we as a team strive to create.

About Uniquely Organic EcoSpa

Uniquely Organic was founded eight years ago by Kirsty Kianifard after she completed a BSc degree in cosmetic science. Having written her final dissertation on the organic beauty industry Kirsty wanted to create a completely ethical space offering clients the chance to have a beauty and spa experience that does not come at the price of the environment or at the health of our bodies. she has created a safe haven where pampering and ethical principles work in harmony, from fair-trade furniture and ecopaints in the interior design to the certified organic products applied during treatments.

Our Vision

Uniquely Organic EcoSpa aims to offer all clients individually-tailored treatments that address the body holistically in order to create improved health and increased overall well-being.

HOLISTIC TREATMENTS

All the treatments have been carefully chosen for their holistic qualities and are carried out by highly-skilled therapists that have a genuine desire to heal and are passionate about delivering chemical-free treatments.

ORGANIC PRODUCTS

Environmental toxins are a challenge enough to keep at bay without actively applying them to our faces and bodies. Yet this is what most individuals do to themselves every day.

At Uniquely Organic, only certified-organic products are used in the treatments and there is a wide range of organic and natural products available to buy in the shop. All clients are always recommend to use organic products which minimise their daily intake of harmful chemicals and we have carefully selected ranges that offer a genuine organic alternative to mainstream brands.

VISIT US

Why not pop by and sample some of our face and body products or book in a treatment!

Our clients are THE most important part of our business, we really hope you will enjoy your experience at Uniquely Organic and that it will lead to a life of natural health, happiness and well-being.

Rachel x

 

 

Image Courtesy of Vanessa Tait

 

Bedtime Ritual Using Corinne Taylor Products

With the clocks going back tonight, I’ll be making the extra hour count with a soothing bed time ritual using Brighton based Corinne Taylor’s handmade and organic products.

Firstly I will have a long relaxing bath using Corinne’s gorgeous ‘Calm Himalayan Bath salts’ which is made with organic Lavender, Frankincense and Patchouli.

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I will then apply the super nourishing ‘Soothe Calming Face Mask’, which is made with Pink French Clay, Rosehip and Chamomile – perfect for my sensitive skin!

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Then before getting into bed I will spritz my room and bed linen with the ‘Calm Room & Linen Mist’, which is made using a calming blend of lavender, frankincense and patchouli.

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Perfect way to relax and unwind and guaranteed to wake up looking and feeling refreshed!

Rachel x

 

All photos courtesy of Corinne Taylor.  

Please note: I was not paid to endorse any products mentioned.